Diary : —
"The President spent an hour with me in the
afternoon. He was deeply disturbed about the state
of the treaties in the Senate, not so much at the oppo-
sition of the Democrats as at the nerveless acquies-
cence of our people in every attack that is made upon
them. Knox and Spooner now take the ground that
every separate agreement to arbitrate, under these
treaties, must be submitted to the Senate: if this
provision is incorporated it leaves us exactly where
we are now."
The opposition had its way in spite of President
Roosevelt's robust criticisms and Secretary Hay's
" February 12. The Senate yesterday, after reading
the President's letter, adopted the amendment, and
then ratified the treaties. The President, and, in my
lesser degree, myself, were the object of a good many
venomous speeches. There were several reasons for
this action. The Clan-na-Gael had worked more ef-
fectively than any one thought. The Southerners
felt their repudiated debts could not trouble them
if the amendments were carried. There was a loud
HAY'S LAST LABORS 393
clamor that the rights of the Senate were invaded —
but every individual Senator felt that his precious
privilege of casting two votes in opposition to every
treaty must be safeguarded. And then, the Presi-
dent's majority was too big — they wanted to teach
him that he was n't z/."
According to Mr. Hay, the President saw the situ-
ation plainly enough; decided not to submit the
treaties for the ratification of the other Powers ; and
made up his mind to go slow in making any more
"A treaty entering the Senate," Mr. Hay writes,
"is like a bull going into the arena: no one can say
just how or when the final blow will fall — but one
thing is certain — it will never leave the arena
The last rebuff in Mr. Hay's long struggle with the
Senate was personal. In the summer of 1904 the
French Government wished to confer upon him its
highest distinction — the Grand Cross of the Legion
of Honor, "in recognition of the work done by the
American Government during the last seven years
in the interest of the world's peace." Mr. Hay was
for declining, but the President urged him to accept
out of regard for France and for the cause which
prompted the decoration. When, however, a resolu-
tion was moved in the Senate to authorize him to
394 JOHN HAY
accept, the "gray wolves" in that body, glad of an
opportunity to vent their ill-will against the too
unyielding Secretary, voted no.
They struck a dying man.
THE portrait painter has one point of advan-
tage over the biographer : he depicts his subject
presumably at his best or at least at a most repre-
sentative moment. The biographer, on the contrary,
must follow his hero to the end ; and the end means
in most cases the decline of powers, if not actually
their eclipse, before death comes as a release. But it
is not fair to allow the final decrepitude to cause us
to forget the activity of a lifetime. So I shall speak
very briefly of John Hay's end.
We have followed so closely his public work during
his last seven years that we have had little space
in which to record his unofhcial and familiar life.
Although, as he himself laments, he came to carry
the air of his office into his home, yet he continued
to enjoy, as leisure permitted, his old pleasures.
As the cronies of his earlier days dropped off one
by one, he clung the more eagerly to those who re-
mained. The few intimate letters which he now
wrote breathe his wonted affection and are often
lighted up by flashes of his old-time wit; but refer-
ences to his failing health occur more often, and
396 JOHN HAY
although he seldom speaks other than valiantly of
his conflict with the inevitable, we detect now and
then a note of weariness.
The public, and even most of his associates, did
not realize how frail he was. He still kept, from a
sense of duty, positions which entailed fatigue. He
was a trustee of the Western Reserve University,
manager of the Metropolitan Club in Washington,
a director at one time of the Western Union Tele-
graph Company, and a member of various commis-
sions. Almost at the end of his life he joined in
founding the American Academy of Arts and Let-
ters. This entry from his Diary, describing the first
meeting of the founders of that body, deserves to be
quoted : —
"January 7, 1905. Went to the Century at i
o'clock to lunch with Stedman and attend the First
Meeting of the American Academy of Letters and
Arts. Of the seven members elected by the vote of
the Institute last month five were present, Sted-
man, Saint -Gaudens, La Farge, McDowell, and
myself. Howells is in Italy and Mark Twain was
in bed whence any amount of telephoning failed to
rouse him. After a long and excellent luncheon
Stedman took the Chair as temporary presiding
officer and R. U. Johnson was elected temporary
Secretary. We then proceeded to elect seven new
members. Henry James was chosen unanimously:
so was Henry Adams. Certain divergences of opinion
then developed and we balloted for the rest. The
result was that Charles Eliot Norton, Lounsbury of
Yale, Quincy A. Ward were elected."
Mr. Hay took delight in his grandchildren.^ Lit-
tle Joan "shows gleams of intelligence. When she
finds a caricature of me, she says — ' Grampa ' —
to her mother in awe and shame, and tlien hides the
During the year before his death his portrait was
painted by John S. Sargent; Zorn etched his head,
giving to him the badger-like appearance which the
admirers of that artist so greatly value; and Saint-
Gaudens modeled his bust. Of this Hay writes: —
** It seems to me a remarkable piece of work —
a good likeness and yet not ugly or insignificant."
(May II, 1904.)
Hay usually spoke of his physiognomy with comic
disrespect. Soon after reaching the White House he
sent home a photograph of which he wrote: —
October 12, 1861.
My dear: — I send you a carte-de-visite, which
I think is very good, all but the face, which don't
look like anything in particular. The pantaloons,'
^ Helen Hay married Payne Whitney, 1902. Alice Hay married
James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr., September 30, 1902,
398 JOHN HAY
however, are in the highest style of the tailor life and
I think the mug is absurd. The expression of the
features reminds me of the desperate attempts of a
tipsy man to look sober. But coat, trousers, and
gloves are irreproachable.^
In his later life Stedman, having asked for a like-
ness of Hay, he sent two, requesting that the other
should be returned, as he "may never have another
taken, having long passed the Narcissus stage."
To a casual correspondent he wrote: " I am inter-
ested in what you say about the resemblance to
Lowell. Several of his most intimate friends have
spoken of it to me, and once, when an artist was
painting my portrait, he suddenly stopped and said,
'This picture does not look in the least like you, but
I have got a perfect likeness of Lowell,' and when I
looked at the canvas I saw he was right; which only
shows that an empty house may look from the out-
side like one fully furnished." (To T. C. Evans,
Cooper, New Jersey, January 2, 1900.)
Secretary Hay had looked forward to retiring from
office at the conclusion of President Roosevelt's
first term. He was worn out and he felt that there
was little hope of being stronger. But when the
^ Century Magazine, lvi, 453.
President insisted that he should remain, he as-
sented, wishing in spite of his condition to complete
some of the diplomatic tasks which he was directing;
but the defeat of his treaties in the Senate, and worries
over the complication in Santo Domingo wore him
down beyond his fears and were the immediate cause
of his collapse. The real cause lay deeper; he had
reached the end of his physical vitality. The doctors
said that a trip to Europe would restore him, and that
he must go at once. He waited until after the Presi-
dent's inauguration, left the Department in charge
of Messrs. Loomis and Adee, under the general super-
vision of Secretary Taft, and sailed with Mrs. Hay
and Mr. Adams from New York on the Cretic on
March 17. During the voyage he improved a little,
enjoyed the sight of the beautiful Azores, the brief
stay at St. Michael's, the glimpse of Gibraltar and
the African coast, and landed at Genoa on April 3.
For a fortnight he went to Nervi, where a German
specialist examined him and reported that he had
no incurable disease of the heart. When he was
sufficiently rested, Mr. Hay made the journey to
Nauheim. There he put himself under the care of
Dr. Groedel, who also held out hopes of ultimate
recovery. During nearly two months the patient
took the regular course of baths and diet, chafing at
the slowness of his recuperation, and feeling pricks
400 JOHN HAY
of conscience at being so long absent from his work
in the State Department. His letter to President
Roosevelt, quoted earlier, shows his readiness to
resign if the President but gave the hint. The in-
sistent invitations of the Emperor William and other
monarchs for him to visit them caused him some
nervous strain, as he had to decline them all. King
Leopold of Belgium, however, surprised him by ap-
pearing unannounced at his hotel for an interview.
Hay also received word that the University of
Cambridge had voted to confer upon him the de-
gree of Doctor of Laws and requested his presence.^
This honor too he had to forego.
Three or four letters written by him from Nervi
and Nauheim show, as do others which I have not
room for here, that the old spirit of raillery and af-
fection was still lively in him : —
To Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Nervi, April 12, 1905.
It has just occurred to me that I left God's coun-
try without saying anything of those mineral treas-
ures of mine in your charge. Whenever you like to
be rid of them, please send them, at my cost and
^ He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the
following American universities: Western Reserve, 1894; Brown,
1897; Princeton, 1900; Dartmouth, 1901 ; Yale, 1901 ; Harvard, 1902.
risk, to the Department of State, where they will be
taken care of.
As the American newspapers have set forth at
quite unnecessary length my miseries before sailing,
I need say nothing more about them. We had a de-
lightful voyage, summer seas, and a ship as steady
as a church. My doctor here says there is nothing
the matter with me except old age, the Senate,
and two or three other mortal maladies, and so I am
going to Nauheim to be cured of all of them. This
involves parting with the Porcupinus Angelicus
[Henry Adams] — and I would almost rather keep
the diseases. He has been kindness itself — the
Porcupine has "passed in music out of sight," and
the Angel has been perfected in him. As Sir Walter
sings : —
Oh, Adams! in our hours of ease
Rather inclined to growl and tease,
When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering angel thou.
To Henry Adams
Nauheim, April 30, 1905.
Brightest and best, drops of compassion tremble
on my eyelids. You did have a hard time, but one
cannot but say fallait pas qu'y aille. Why did you
give me all of your good French money? Why did
you leave with empty pockets when mine were
402 JOHN HAY
gorged with your cash? Why, when disaster came
upon you, did you not wire me? and ad infinitum.
But I hope this severe dispensation may be blessed
to your permanent advantage. I was once com-
plaining to Bret Harte of my lack of funds: "Your
own fault," said the wise Argonaut. "Why did you
fool away your money paying your debts?"
. . . Spring set in the moment you turned your
back. Birds and wild-flowers have come romping
in. The drives to the funny little towns and villages
are very entertaining. . . . My doctor is an austere
Bavarian and does not mince matters. I asked why
Rixey and Osier ^ never discovered the hole, or ra-
ther bump, in my heart. He said: — " Perhaps they
did not want you to know it; or perhaps they could
not find it. There are few men in the world so sure
of their affair as I am."
You will tell me all about the Salon when I get
there. Perhaps by that time I can go upstairs —
though they forbid it here. Think of me, leaping like
a wild goat in Nauheim from jag to jag. Yet Groedel
says I am getting on, and tells me he has patched
up worse machines than mine.
With which, may Heaven grant us many happy
y^'^- Jo El Hay.
^ Dr. Presley M. Rixey, Surgeon-General U.S.N. : Sir William
Osier, Anglo-American medical specialist.
To President Roosevelt
Bad Nauheim, May 21, 1905.
... I need not tell you with what pride and
pleasure we all read your speech at Chicago. It has
the true ring of conscience and authority combined —
the voice of a man "who would not flatter Neptune
for his trident." It is a comfort to see the most
popular man in America telling the truth to our
masters, the people. It requires no courage to attack
wealth and power, but to remind the masses that
they too are subject to the law, is something few
public men dare to do.
When Dr. Groedel permitted, Hay joined wife
and Mr. Adams, who had preceded him to Paris, and
there he spent two or three days motoring with his
oldest friend through some of their favorite haunts.
On June 2, having bidden good-bye to Mr. Adams,
Hay crossed to London ; there he lived as far as pos-
sible mcognito, denying himself even to his chosen
friends. But as King Edward insisted on vSeeing him,
Hay went privately to Buckingham Palace, where
the King received him in a room on the ground
floor, and they chatted together for half an hour.
h luncheon with Edwin Abbey the painter, a round
of shopping, and last calls from some of his intimates
completed his stay in London.
404 JOHN HAY
On June 7 the Hays took passage from Liverpool
on the Baltic,
To Henry Adams
R.M.S. Baltic, June 7, 1905.
Thus far — sin novedad. I have had my usual and
proper share of duck-fits and there is no reason to
kick at the doctors. I am still following the Groedel
regime, and holding the Robin programme in re-
serve. I am, if anything, a little to the good since
I see your friend, the Kaiser, has at last taken
the scalp of Delcasse. He will be after mine next
— to which he is welcome. He has evidently done
it out of sheer wantonness, to let people know there
is a god in Israel. Characteristic, his rushing to
Bulow's house and making him a Prince on the spot
to advertise his score.
Spring-Rice turned up in London yesterday. He
says he does not think the Kaiser means or wishes
war with France. He wants merely to insult her
publicly by way of notifying her that if she does not
want him to do it again, she had better make friends
The situation is not, as it appears, satisfactory to
any one. France has been profoundly humiliated
and does not care to show any resentment. England
is not inclined to sympathize with her, as she seems
unconscious of her injury. The Bear is licking his
own wounds and does not care what happens to the
Cock and the Lion. It was a good time for the Kaiser
to tread the stage in the Ercles vein.
I do not quite see what Theodore is doing. He is
busy — that 's of course.
This is an enormous boat and seems comfortable.
My cabin is big enough to give a ball in.
Love and thanks a thousand times over for all
your generous kindness. I hardly feel worth so much.
During the voyage over Hay had a dream in
which there came to him the apparition of the
Great Companion of his youth. In his Diary he
^^ June 13, 1905. I dreamed last night that I was
in Washington and that I went to the White House
to report to the President who turned out to be Mr.
Lincoln. He was very kind and considerate, and
sympathetic about my illness. He said there was
little work of importance on hand. He gave me two
unimportant letters to answer. I was pleased that
this slight order was within my power to obey. I
was not in the least surprised at Lincoln's presence
in the White House. But the whole impression of the
dream was one of overpowering melancholy."
4o6 JOHN HAY
On June 15, the Hays landed In New York and
from a snap-shot of him on the pier, we see that
Secretary Hay, although somewhat thinner and with
beard and hair much whitened, still had a cheerful
expression. Mrs. Hay wished to take him at once to
Newbury, but he felt that duty called him to Wash-
ington, and after passing a day with his daughter,
Mrs. Whitney, at Manhasset, he went straight to
the State Department. For nearly a week he stayed
on, "clearing his desk," catching up with official
news, and conferring with the President and mem-
bers of the Cabinet. He rejoiced to learn that Mr.
Roosevelt was on the point of bringing about peace
negotiations between Russia and Japan — a con-
summation which he himself had longed to achieve
during the last year of his active service.
The final entry in his Diary, dated June 19, 1905,
reads : —
"Spent the evening at the White House. The
President gave me an interesting account of the
Peace Negotiations — which he undertook at the
suggestion of Japan. He was struck with the vacil-
lation and weakness of purpose shown by Russia;
and was not well pleased that Japan refused to go to
"Taft came in and we talked of the Bowen-
Loomis matter and the Chinese Exclusion. The
President is determined to put a stop to the barba-
rous methods of the Immigration Bureau."
Accompanied by Clarence, Secretary Hay left
Washington on June 24, and reached Newbury the
following afternoon. For a day or two he seemed to
be suffering merely from the natural fatigue of his
recent exertions. Then he grew alarmingly worse.
There was the summoning of doctors by special
train from Boston, and the application of every re-
source by which medicine staves off for a few hours
the inevitable end. A brief respite of tranquillity
preceded the sudden forming of a blood clot. Death
swiftly followed about three o'clock in the morning
of July I, 1905.
He was buried in the Lake View Cemetery,
John Hay has so truly described himself in these
volumes that the reader will expect no further sum-
ming up. Two fragments of Hay's own self-criti-
cism will fitly conclude this chronicle of his rare
character and richly varied career.
In 1902, he wrote to his brother-in-law, Mr.
"I am getting old. I have talked about it before,
^ Mrs. Hay, who died in New York City, on April 25, 1914, is
buried beside him, and their son, Adelbert.
4o8 JOHN HAY
but 'never felt it till now,' as Shy lock says. ... I
ought not to grumble. I have reached my grand
climacteric with no serious illness, no material bad
luck. My dear Del is safe, with a beloved memory
and a bright young fame. The girls are well settled,
with excellent men, fellows of heart and conscience.
Clarence promises an honorable and tranquil life.
I shall not be much missed except by my wife.
"I really believe that in all history I never read
of a man who has had so much and such varied suc-
cess as I have had, with so little ability and so little
power of sustained industry. It is not a thing to be
proud of, but it is something to be very grateful for.
''There never could be a better time to retire."
(August 22, 1902.)
Almost the last entry in John Hay's Diary con-
tains the following farewell. It is dated June 14,
"I say to myself that I should not rebel at the
thought of my life ending at this time. I have lived
to be old, something I never expected in my youth.
I have had many blessings, domestic happiness
being the greatest of all. I have lived my life. I have
had success beyond all the dreams of my boyhood.
My name is printed in the journals of the world
without descriptive qualification, which may, I sup-
pose, be called fame. By mere length of service I
■>-' 4';.: •^.- X^.U.^
shall occupy a modest place in the history of my time.
If I were to live several years more I should probably
add nothing to my existing reputation; while I could
not reasonably expect any further enjoyment of life,
such as falls to the lot of old men in sound health. I
know death is the common lot, and what is universal
ought not to be deemed a misfortune ; and yet —
instead of confronting it with dignity and philosophy,
I cling instinctively to life and the things of life, as
eagerly as if I had not had my chance at happiness
and gained nearly all the great prizes."
Page references to the letters and parts of letters of John Hayprinted in these vol-
iimes will be found under the names of his correspondents, after other references. The
very numerous subjects touched upon in the extracts from Mr. Hay's Diaries are not
indexed under his name except when they seem to be of special importance, or when they
are not indexed imder their own special rubrics.
Abbey, Edwin A., 2, 73, 74 and «., 75,
A braham Lincoln : a History. See Nico-
lay and Hay.
Adams, Brooks, 2, 148, 153, 159, 178
Adams, Mrs. Brooks, 2, 178.
Adams, Charles Francis, 1, 222, 280, 285,
312; 2, 53.
Adams, Charles Francis (11), 2, 82 and
n., 198, 257, 336.
Adams, Henry, H.'s friendship for, 2, 53,
54, 58; his descent and character, 53,
54; his autobiography (The Education
of Henry Adams), 54, 55, 61, 171, 172,
174, 175, 185; his salon, 55, 56; his
description of C. King, 56, 57; prob-
able author of Democracy, 59, 75 and
n.; liis history of the Jefferson and
Madison Administrations, 43 n., 58,
83, 84; commissions Saint-Gaudens to
design memorial to Mrs. A., 60; his
travels after her death, 61; his hospi-
tality in Washington, 61, 62; his soli-
tude, 61; his circle of friends, 62,63;
his Samoan letter, 81 ; his letter from
Ceylon, 88; and the panic of 1893, 99
and «.; Loubat prize awarded to, 112;
camping trip with H. in the Yellow-
stone, 114 #.; his visit to Normandy,
and his Mont Saint-Michel, 127; his
view of Cleveland's administration,
129, 130; a "silver man," 145; on H.'s
achievements as Ambassador, 171, 172,
and on his appointment as Sec'y of
State, 174, 175; remains his closest
friend, 185; 1, 50, 251, 423,2, 133, 164,
178, 333. 397. 399. 401, 403- Letters to,
1, 366, 2, 38, 43; 59, 60,63, 73. 74, 76,
77. 78, 80, 81, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92,
93. 94. 97. 99. 100, loi, 102, 103, 106,
107, 109, no, 112, 113, 114, 118, 119,
120, 121, 122, 124, 126, 131, 141, 142,
145, 147, 151, 152, 160, 161, 170, 173,
232, 248, 263, 264, 267, 272, 401, 404.
Adams, Mrs. Henry, her death, 2, 59, 60;
Saint-Gaudens's memorial to, 60,61;
Adams, John, 2, 53.
Adams, John Quincy, 1, 109, 2, 53.
Adee, Alvey A., his long service in the
State Dep't, 2, 186, 187; his unrivaled
knowledge of diplomatic history, 187;
an invaluable man, 187; his summary
of the Colombian situation, 311; on a
possible revolution in Panama, 313;
184, 267, 399.
Adelbert College, 1, 351 n.
Agassiz, Louis, 1, 252.
Aiken, William, 1, 82 n.
Alaska boundary, determination of, re-
ferred to Joint High Commission, 2,
203 ff.; and to a special commission
208 ff.; Roosevelt's notice to British
Cabinet concerning, 20S-210; .\meri-
can claim concerning, adopted by spe-
cial commission, 211; American policy
concerning, defended by H., 211; and
the New York Sun, 235, 236; in cam-
paign of 1900, 253.
Alaskan boundary commission, 2, 208 n.
Aldrich, T. B., why he failed to secure
the Bread-Winners for the Atlantic, 2,
8, II, 12.
Alger, Russell A., 2, 154.
AHens, and American Democracy, 1, 421.
Allen, William, Gov. of Ohio, 1, 425, 426,
Allen, William V., 2, 226.
AlUson, W. B., 2, 125.
Alma-Tadema, L., 1, 408.
Almonte, Don Juan N., and Napoleon
III, 1, 241, 242, 243.
Alverstone, Lord, on Alaskan boundary
commission, 2, 208 and «., 212; sup-
ports American claims, 211, 213.
American Academy of Arts and Letters,
2, 396, 397-
American colleges, Greek letter frater-
nities in, 1, 36.
"American Diplomacy," H.'s address
on, quoted, 2, 296.
Americans in Europe, 1, 325.
"Ancient, the," H.'s nickname for Lin-
coln, 1, 93.
Angell, Prof. James B., H. a student
under, 1, 34; 46, 2, 179.
Anglophobia, a trump card in campaign
against McKinley in 1900, 2, 253.
Antietam, battle of, 1, 129.
Anti-Imperialists, and the Philippines, 2,
198, 199; lack of harmony among, in